Friday, December 28, 2007

The Radar (Migdal) Synagogue

I searched the whole Internet for an in-depth story or a picture of Beit Vegan's Migdal Shul and found none. I am providing my own photo of the building.

The story I pieced together from talking to the locals is that at the British built here one of the first radar stations that had a radar mounted on top of the tower, visible in the picture. The radar must have been the first non-naval radar station for its times, or outside Europe, or in the Middle East.

The Wikipedia's Beit Vegan entry is not so correct ("During the British Mandate, the army built one of its radar stations in Bayit VeGan. A synagogue, Beit Knesset Migdal ("The Tower"), now stands on the spot."), since the tall grey tower is the radar tower.

The shul is a major center for Young Israel, though the crowd seems to have aged. Most minyans nowadays are literally staffed by Charedi, as can be seen on Friday nights at the shul's main synagogue hall. The daily morning 7:25 am minyan is a hodge-podge of locals valuing it for its 30 minute shacharis. Most young Mizruchniks and Kookniks attend shacharit at the Avreichim 2 doors behind the Migdal, where the Shearis Isroel and Litvishe organized derech wins, hands down, everyone over.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hydrocarbon Graffiti and Cornucopia of Cream

Hopefully this graffiti artist becomes famous. His hydrocarbon molecule art decorates just about anything in Jerusalem. These are on a construction fence on the Shaarey Tzedek corner of Herzel Avenue:

and this

And these are from a typical dairy section of an Israeli grocery store (Shefa Shuk, Beit Hakerem, near the Shaarey Tzedek Hospital):

It keeps on going:

and going:

and more:

And this is Yossi Peking, on the Dania Square, at night

And the posters at the Dania Square. Note the famous Rabbi Avner Kawas lecture notice, a web yeshiva, Amir BenAyun, Russian cardiovascular over-the-counter medications, and alternative, off-beat music bands:

Talk to you soon.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sliced Pita, Salami and Babylon

Noah bore Japheth, or Yafeth (יפת), and Japheth bore Javan, or Yavan(יון) . The seed of Yafeth, so intimately connected to the Hebrew contemporary concept of beauty (yofi), may even be the ancient name for Beauty itself. Indeed, the offspring of Yafeth, Yavan, is Greece, which is the meaning of Yavan’s name in Hebrew. Greece is an undisputed cradle of all concepts beautiful (and discussion of which can be enjoyed at Heaventree, which have been inspired by the worship of Greek idols.

This chain of inheritance has lasted even till now – we see that even politics, with all of its incredulously variegated and combined spectra, can be fashionably beautiful. Over at Supernaut, their motto is I whore for art. This is the most loyal testament to the preservation of Japhetic faith: how reminiscent it is of the ancient Greece, when each idol had its own temple, and within it contained temple prostitutes that whored for all things beautiful.

This gracefully beautiful sword has been hanging over us through the somber pages of history. It is just too convenient not to fall back on Peres.

Switch to, or to the spiritual realms of Shem’s heritage, to the world of beauty in hidden meanings, of ( מנא מנא תקל ופרסין ) manei manei tekeil ufarsin.

There it is again, in the stubbornly Hebraic fashion of hiding, taunting, jumping forth from the long-faded history, the reminder, the root P-R-S ( פ-ר-ס ). In Hebrew it means slice, sliced, divided. Ask for לחם פרוס (lechem parus) in Israel and you will get sliced bread.

Peres is there to do the same - to continue to divide the people. The man of no straight answers, of yes and no, the man who has always wanted to install the most beautiful peace through so many nebulous and contrastingly ugly compromises, that people called him a loser. Though elected to be just a nodding figurehead, he sounds like he has won the title of the Prime Minister.

Thanks to Jewlicious, we can enjoy some of his gems :

There's nothing to be proud of in Jewish History (UNESCO Conf. 1994)

Jewish Youth should divorce themselves from our past. (UNESCO Conf. 1994)

-spoken as a true Master Assimilator.

Give me peace, and I'll forgo Israel's nuclear capabilities (4.1.96)

Bombing the Iranian Nuclear Reactor was a mistake (24.12.95)

-this is the Babel itself, where the Belshazzar was told that his kingdom has already been sliced.

There is no antisemitism in France (27.2.02)

Olmert is one of Israel's best Prime Ministers (17.3.07)

If it were up to me I would remove History from the school curriculum (11.4.07)

To dance the tango, you need to close your eyes and let the romance flow...peace is a romantic process.

I declare that the [Palestinian-Israeli] conflict is over! No finger will ever again touch a trigger.

100 years of terror are over, and now start 100 years of peace and coexistence. (13.5.95)


I think am a lot better prophet than PRS.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Shave, Shawarma, Shalom and Shimon

The 10 of Av is here and it is OK to have one’s facial growth shorn. Since the 17th of Tammuz the bristles have been a fertile ground for all kinds of microorganisms and microinsects, demanding an extra daily treatment with a fruity liquid soap, or a body wash. One come to mind, and that is Fa. The memories of life among the silken landscape of America, or Europe. The landscape here is pseudo-Goth: the orthodox women prefer to dress in New York evening gowns, black and concealing, and grotesque en ensemble with church-lady-like shoes and a gait of a clumsy farm wench. And this is my community.

The date also permits eating meat, which is a subject of multitudinous complaints. Shawarma is not the Greek gyro, it is a mixture of unknown turkey cuts and unidentified kosher meat, sheep fat, diluted with an unknown kosher oil, melted generously all over. I think I’ll stay vegetarian. What would be the name for abstaining from meat, while still eating meat flavored foods and sauces? Though beef jerky is nowhere to be found in Israel, even among the Ishmaelites.

And I don’t think if Jews give more land to these tribesmen, or whatever else tangible for a promise of Salam (because the word means "take it from them using the salami tactic" in Arabic) written on the back of an old goat from Beit Jallah (the Jewish Beit Gillo, or Gillo, the town of King David’s father-in-law).

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Fast of 9th of Av

The of Av has just passed and the whole world has not even blinked. If the nation only knew that the real peace might be available through the Temple, rebuilt, on the Temple Mount, accessible by anyone front these nations of the world. They would be fasting, too, if they knew how much they need it. After all, they do need it, to go up to Jerusalem and ask a Jew to come to the Temple of G-d and pray together (for the Feast of Tabernacles, see the Pentateuch, Leviticus)

The trick to fasting for me was to conserve energy, to walk up to the Avrichim Kolel minyan, which is air-conditioned, to sleep till 6:40 pm, and pray the Afternoon and Evening service at the Great Beit Knesset.

Meanwhile, Peres, the new figurehead of the State of Israel, has made a lasting impression on everyone by casting himself again, as a national sage. As if the state could not otherwise survive without him.

“I always look ahead,” he said. “The (Israeli) people must be taught…” or something to that effect. We are going to witness the resurgence of Shimon Says websites.

Something is definitely going on, because the gunship choppers and jets have been roaring in the sky all day long.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Potemkin's Light Rail

The hilariousness of the light rail construction in Al-Quds is more than laughable. Someone else would say sad. I find it entertaining. Even to a person totally unfamiliar from civic engineering, watching the whole project would suggest that it is run either by nincompoops, or by a cohort of corrupt contractors.

Nobody can even guess why the Al-Quds Municipality totally ignored the possibility of using electric trolley buses. Instead, they went for a bare-bones light rail line running a pathetic fleet of Alstom's sleek, sexy Eurodesign short trains.

The Herzl Avenue that is already suffering from the fate of continuous excavation (for the ever-incomplete sewer, main, and cable rework), the circus on the supposed terminus of the line at the Mount Herzl can be described as a dig-pour cement-pour another layer-drill and insert rail fasteners-install rail track-uninstall-scrape the top layer of cement-wait procedure.

The continuous traffic jams are exacerbated by the construction of the Calatrava Bridge, which seems to be tinkered with by another team of contractors, that could have been the Keystone Cops moonlighting as construction company. They found a hugest crane in Israel, had it hoist the pieces of the curved bridge, paint it all white, only to cut it with blowtorches in places different from where the original pieces were welded. This whole construction show can teach an ignoramus how not to build bridges and railroads.

Maybe all of this is caused by a government bureaucrat driving around in car bought for him with the 120% new car tax, and due to his MS Outlook being full of X-rated, interoffice PowerPoint slideshows.

On top of it all, the municipality is all huffed up and proud of the pygmy rail line propelling the Al-Quds into the futuristic vision of socialist-dreamed up 22nd century.

I will wear a wide-brimmed hat while walking to Beit Hakerem, 15 minutes or so, along the route of this dog-and-pony show. Helicopter are buzzing, F-15 are roaring.